Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (36) The Insomniac Muse (Part 06)
About half an hour later Gloria appeared in her oversized Purplemere Diamonds Rugby shirt and black football socks fiddling with her tousled damp hair.
“Do you feel better now?” he asked
“Much better thank you” she replied
“I’m sorry about the wardrobe” he added “it was the best I could do I’m afraid”
“Its fine at least I won’t get cold” she said and laughed
“Well sit yourself down and I’ll get you some food”
“No don’t worry I’m really not hungry” she said and he gave her a look
“Ok I’ll have a little bit” she said
“A wise decision” he said and went out to the kitchen.
He returned a few minutes later with a steaming bowl on a tray.
“Lamb stew” he said
He thought back to the conversation he had with Kate about Gloria not eating properly and Gloria’s own statement not half an hour previously when she said “I’m really not hungry”
Well for someone who wasn’t really hungry she did extremely well to polish off three bowls of Lamb stew.
While they ate they watched an old Cary Grant movie called “Holiday” and when it was finished she said
“Well thank you for looking after me and entertaining me but I’d better change my clothes and get home”
He got up and went to the front door and when he opened it the rain was still coming down like stair rods.
“Just put your coat and boots on and I’ll run you home” he said
“No you’ve been too kind already” she replied
“I’m not having you getting soaked to the skin again” he insisted
“You’re very bossy” she said with a smile
“I know” I said “That’s probably why I’m divorced”
She put her coat and boots on while Alex put her clothes in a carrier bag and then he drove her the two miles up the lane to her cottage and she thanked him again and got out, but before she closed the door she said
“Don’t get lost on your way home”
Then she laughed like it was the funniest thing she’d ever heard in her life.
It was a day later when Gloria “popped in” to Honeysuckle Cottage for the first time and which was to be the first of many times over the following weeks when they shared a conversation and a drink of coffee across the kitchen table.
The “pop ins” happened at any time of the day or night partly because of her insomnia and in part because he was a writer and kept irregular hours himself, and if she saw a light on she would knock.
Sometimes when the muse was with him he would just carry on writing until he couldn’t see straight, so he had no set time to go to bed or to get up in the morning.
According to his ex-wife it was one of the things that contributed to the breakup of their marriage, the other thing being her infidelity.
As they moved slowly through November the “pop ins” increased exponentially and as they raced headlong towards December he was disappointed on the days that he didn’t see her.